Mountmellick nurse Conor Glynn and midwife June Flood from Portarlington are busy fundraising for a volunteer trip to Africa this October.
The friends have signed up for a two week stint in Uganda with Irish NGO Nurture Africa, which will see them working in busy health clinics every morning, and out in the community afterwards in schools and building projects.
Conor aged 23 is a nurse in Portlaoise Hospital’s A&E department. He is excited about the trip, having never travelled further than England before.
“It was always our intention to go, we have the skills and the time, so we said why not this summer, it will be an adventure,” said Conor.
After pre-departure training and vaccinations, the pair will head off on October 9 for Nansana, near Uganda’s capital city of Kampala.
“It is a large modern town, but the healthcare system is poor. We will be visiting people’s houses and clinics, staying with families or in a secure compound,” said Conor.
He says his parents Conor and Treasa, also a nurse, were “surprised but supportive” of his big plan.
June, 32, who works for Edenderry GP Maurice Carroll, is hoping her midwifery skills will come in useful.
“I hope to get involved in ante and post natal care, and hopefully a delivery,” she said.
She was inspired by her great aunt Sr Antoine Meleady, her ‘Auntie Maura’, who at 79 has just returned from a missionary post in Sudan.
“I told her yesterday and she was all for it, giving me advice,” said June.
“I expect it to be an eye opener, it can only benefit us. I just hope we can give as much as we get,” she said, thanking their families, friends and colleagues in the A&E and ambulance service for support.
The pair have to raise at least €4,000 between them for Nurture Africa’s work.
They have €649 already, and will hold a trad music night in Kavanagh’s, Portlaoise on September 18, with €5 entry and lots of fun and raffles.
To donate see http;//dm2.gofund.me/9sa2ja273k4
Nurture Africa bring students and professionals to Uganda to improve vulnerable children’s healthcare, education, protection, gender equality and help families to economic empowerment.